Amazing Weekend + Ticket Giveaway

This weekend truly was one for the books! Friday after work we tossed our weekend bags in the car and booked it down to Folly Beach (outside of Charleston, SC). We were with our best friends and their adorable baby boy. Everything about the weekend was perfect and I can't wait to share a full recap tomorrow.

Today I have a treat for any local blog readers -- so if you live close to Charlotte or want to drive in for this fun event, this one's for you!

Our local Junior League is hosting a delightful evening event Sunday, October 13th called Lights! Camera! Fashion!

It is in its 4th year. I actually won a ticket myself two years ago (recap here) and loved, loved, loved it!

Tickets are $50 for General Admission and $95 for VIP. The price includes a 20% shopping discount during the event with limited exclusions, Belk gift cards, beer, wine, heavy appetizers and a fashion show! 

Fashion Show times are 6:30pm and 8:00pm. A VIP ticket get you access to the event early, a VIP reception, a raffle ticket, and preferred seating at the fashion show. All the proceeds to go the Junior League of Charlotte

I will most definitely be there, and I'd love to meet you! I'm giving away TWO tickets to the event (so you can bring a girlfriend!), and you can choose whether you'd like to attend the 6:30 or 8:00 show. 

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment here with the following information:
  • The style trend you're most excited about for fall
  • Your email address
Okay, I'll go first. The style trend I'm most excited about for fall is ... rich, saturated jewel tones!

I'll draw the winner on Wednesday, October 9th and will contact you via email. Best of luck and hope to meet you soon!


Five On Friday!

Happy, happy, happy Friday y'all!

I am back home in the grand ol' Queen City and boy, does that feel great. I am so sedentary when I go to hotels, I can't help it. Hotel fitness centers do not excite me at all (wish they did) so I find myself sitting cross-legged on the bed most of the time working on my laptop while getting sucked into Breaking Amish on TLC. So, now that I'm home, I'm so excited to get moving again and re-embrace an active lifestyle.

Per usual, I'm joining my favorite girlies for our Five On Friday link-up. Here we go!

Last weekend I went to the Southern Women's Show and sweet Madeline from Poppy Style was kind enough to share some tickets to the show with me! It was wonderful to finally meet her, and her jewelry is just awesome. I ended up purchasing this purple enamel bangle from her booth, which I know I will get a ton of wear out of, especially when cheering on the Furman Paladins or ECU Pirates. She keeps an online shop with tons of cute designs! The Rensford bracelet (here) is on my wishlist.

I had the best dinner the other night with my girlfriend Ashley. Boo for blurry pictures, but isn't that the most awkward situation when somebody takes a photo for you, and then you look at it and just don't have the heart to ask for another one? Regardless, we just had the best time chatting, chatting, chatting, and I could have spent even more time with her than I did.

This site has such cute ideas for non-traditional pumpkin decorating. You must check out the gold-leaf pumpkin ... and I sort of like the matte black version as well! I think a painted pumpkin is definitely in our future.

Halloween Decorating:  12 Fun Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

Two years ago, our local mall got a Vineyard Vines store and they invited local bloggers to come to the grand opening -- I wrote about it here. They gifted us with these cute 2-bottle wine totes, which I was crazy excited (geekily excited) about last night when I realized that it completely matched with my outfit for Supper Club. And YES I am still wearing my white shorts ... better believe it.

Deal alert! The Plaid Barn has these super cute pendants on sale today for $9.99. They come on an 18" chain (unassembled, but easy to put together with basic needle-nosed pliers). I'm about to order one now. They have nine colors to choose from, and while I love the tortoise, I already have a tortoise acrylic monogram on a shorter chain. I think for this one I'll go with white on a gold chain. These would make such cute holiday gifts too!

The Plaid Barn Personalized Monogram Pendants

Now, your turn. I hope you'll join me along with DarciNatasha, and Christina ... playing along is simple!  Just write a blog about five things on your mind today, anything goes really, post the logo below on your blog, and then enter your post address below in the link-up section.


Thankful On Thursday

Create custom cards with the Martha Stewart CraftStudio app.

This Thursday, I am thankful for...

+ A job that takes me to new places to explore. Yes, spending multiple days away may not be my favorite ever, but I get to see new places, try new restaurants, and sleep diagonally in the bed. With four feather pillows.

+ Two-hour long dinners with best girlfriends where we are only eating for about 30 of those minutes. We were chatterboxes!

+ Anthropologie. I spent a good amount of time in that store yesterday afternoon smelling each and every candle in the store. Each and every candle.

+ Candy Crush because I am still playing it like it is my j-o-b.

+ Reminders from home about how much I'm missed and needed. Ian sent me a text letting me know he was "lost" without me in the grocery store. He said he wandered around aimlessly for half an hour before purchasing coffee and salad dressing. And then he left and picked up takeout.

+ Sweet comments and emails, I truly read and enjoy each one (and if you ask me a question, I will always try to get back to you). When I check my email on my phone, I read through my other two email accounts first and leave my blog email for the last one to check because it brings me the most joy.

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

Don't forget to link up with us 
tomorrow for Five On Friday. XO!


How I Do Fall

Fall is here, and I'm drinking the Kool-Aid.

Have I had a Pumpkin Spice Latte yet? Nope. Blasphemy, I know! But I know that it's right around the corner. I have this strange thing about not having a PSL when it's still summer. After fall officially hit Sunday, I've been waiting for the craving to hit in order to indulge it. One fall item I did indulge in yesterday ... candy corn! Goodness gracious, I can't hold myself back with that (especially the candy pumpkins).

Here is a quick run-down of how I do fall.

{1} My Fall "Uniform"
I do love the spring and summer brights, but when it's time to pack all of that away and bring down the fall and winter tubs from the attic, I am one happy girl. My go-to outfit on the weekends? Black leggings, a black tank or tee, and a long sweater with boots. Oh, and a fabulous necklace. I used to be wishy-washy about mixing black clothes with brown boots and now I love doing just that. Long-sleeved wrap dresses are a must for me during fall because they can be paired with simple heels or made warmer with tights and boots (and a scarf, too, if really chilly). And I love the ease of a long-sleeved blouse with jeans and wedges. So fall, and so easy.

Fall Outfits

{2} Fall Eats.
I've previously blogged about two of my favorite pumpkin indulgences ... pumpkin breakfast smoothies and the Southern Living pumpkin crisp! It's just not autumn without these faves.

{3} Fall Decor.
I'm ready to pull out the pumpkins and gourds and get the house smelling like autumn! I'm absolutely loving my Rewined spiked cider candle that I mentioned Friday -- it just makes the entire house smell so good. I'm loving this gold pumpkin below and think it would make for a really fun craft this year for our front stoop!

Fabulous Halloween outdoor decor!

What have you done so far, if anything, to welcome autumn?


Pushing Through

I'm out of town this week for work, and this homebody is already ready to be home. Back when I lived alone with just a few dying houseplants, I never really minded long outings away from my apartment. Now that I have a husband, a dog, a home, and plants that are actually doing well -- I crave being home.

This is my last week out of town until the new year, so I know if I can just push through this week, I will be a-okay. Head down, focus on the job, and hopefully the week will fly by.

Don't Stop

The highlight of my week will be Wednesday night, when I get to meet one of my best girlfriends and her husband for dinner out. I just need to focus on that fun part of the work week! If it wasn't for that exciting dinner date, I would definitely be having a tougher time with being away.

Do you travel for work? If so, what do you think about it ... do you welcome it or not so much? If you have a job where you don't travel, do you think you'd enjoy it?


Before + After: Backyard Home Tour

I'm so excited about some updates we have recently made to our backyard and back patio. When we first moved into our home in April 2011, we focused primarily on the interior of the home. Starting last summer, we started making tweaks to the front of the house and backyard. We spend quite a lot of time doing so, but it really brings both Ian and me joy, despite the sizeable dent in the bank account. :)

Here are some photos I snapped yesterday of the back of the house. The bushes you see all along the patio are brand new!

Wednesday after work, I went to Home Depot and purchased ten new plants -- six golden euonymus (an evergreen shrub with pretty green and yellow leaves) and four bright pink knockout roses.

The next step was the easiest ... we hired out the labor. :) We used a local landscaping service to build up the beds with new soil, plant the shrubs and roses, and fertilize. 

They didn't top it with any mulch, but we hit up Home Depot on Saturday morning for four bags of cedar mulch and spread it around the beds ourselves.  We also purchased three gardenia plants for the side of this wall you see below.

The alternating plants provide so much color to this area. I just love the pop of the pink roses with the yellow and green leaves. It was important for me to have something that would stay evergreen even when the roses aren't blooming.

I also planted some purple pansies, white mums, and sweet potato vine into some smaller pots on our patio. Sweet potato vine (the neon green vine you see spilling out of the ivory planters below) and I get along beautifully -- so easy to grow, and when it starts looking weakly and pale I just cut it back and it returns the next year. It's also really simple to root -- in fact, the sweet potato vine I planted Saturday came from a clipping that I had in a small bud vase indoors. After about a week in the vase, it had sprouted several new roots so I just stuck it in a pot with some of the purple pansies.

So now the most interesting part is the before and after. I think the change is pretty big. Below is a photo from the day we looked at the house -- March 2011.



Within this time, here's a list of what we have changed:

+ New grass seed and lots of TLC on the lawn
+ Restained patio gate and wooden fence around yard
+ Removed satellite dish from roof
+ Border of knockout roses, golden euonymus, gardenia, elephant ear around patio
+ New, darker-shingled roof (ouch, that one hurt)
+ Power-washed house exterior earlier this month
+ Installed outdoor speakers
+ Made over screened porch into more of a living area (photos coming soon)
+ Installed fountain on brick wall
+ Pruned back trees
+ Replaced pinestraw beds with mulch beds
+ Planted ivy and hosta in mulch beds around trees
+ Planted spring bulbs (daffodils, tulips, crocus) in mulch beds
+ Planted a Japanese coral maple in backyard
+ Painted screened porch ceiling haint blue
+ Repainted stamped concrete patio

Isn't home-ownership fun?!?!

It has truly been a labor of love (and continues to be) but we have really enjoyed making all of these fun changes!


Five On Friday -- Link Up With Us!

It's Five on Friday time, pretty ladies! As always, I hope you'll join me along with DarciNatasha, and Christina ... playing along is simple. Just write a blog about five things on your mind today, anything goes really, post the logo below on your blog, and then enter your post address below in the link-up section.

Yay, humanity! I experienced such kindness yesterday at Panera. Definitely one of those "life is good" moments. First, they have a security guy directing traffic now at lunchtime (before him, it was a ZOO) and that just makes life easy. When you pull in, he points at an empty spot for you to go directly towards. So good for pedestrian safety, too. I let him know yesterday how much he is appreciated, and he was just so darn friendly.

Then, standing in line, I was behind a really nice lady who was just treating everyone there like they were her family. Right before her pick-up order was ready, the manager came out with a free cookie for her. So nice to see that. Then, once I received my to-go order and was pulling out of the parking lot, I saw her slow down her car to give that cookie to the security guy directing traffic. It was like my head was exploding from all of the love at Panera! I just wanted to go kiss some kittens!

Choose Happy

My new candle is perfection. In Charleston this past weekend, Megan and I visited the farmer's market where we saw some locally-made candles. We spent good time at the table but didn't purchase any. Later that afternoon, during lunch at Butcher & Bee, I got in a conversation with a guy whose wife, an artist, used to rent some studio space from the folks that started these Rewined candles. He spoke so highly of this company and all they do to give back to Charleston, and by golly if I didn't leave there and head right back to the farmer's market to pick one up for myself. I got the new scent, Spiked Cider, and it is incredible. Incredible. PS - they are sold all over the US -- check out their website for retail locations in your area.

How It All Started

All I have to say is that these Ciao Bella gelato squares are pure heaven.  Sea salt caramel ... come to mama. Getcha some!

For dinner last night, I experimented around with a really autumn-inspired dish. We had roasted butternut squash, apples, and dried cranberries. I based the recipe loosely on this version but added in the cranberries, decreased the amount of honey and butter to 2 tablespoons, and used walnuts instead of pecans. Here it is prior to being roasted and then tossed in the cinnamon honey butter mixture. Yum!

This recipe below makes me feel like dancing. I'm going to have to give it a try this season!
Pumpkin fudge

Your turn! If it's your first time linking up with us, please leave a comment and let me know so I can be sure to check your post out. XO!


Breakfast In Bed

Yesterday's avocado toast recipe has me on a bit of a breakfast kick, so hang with me! I am curious - do you make big breakfasts? On the weekdays, I'm more of a grab + go girl ... favorites of mine are as follows:

+ Sliced up fruit (apples, oranges, grapefruit, pears)
+ Solo cup with 3/4 cup cereal and almond or soy milk
+ Instant oatmeal jazzed up with chia seeds and Craisins
+ Refrigerator oats (recipe) with chia seeds, flaxseed, cinnamon, and banana pieces

The weekends call for a little bit more fanfare, and I'll totally divulge that I'm spoiled rotten on Saturdays and Sundays -- Ian's the one lacing up the metaphorical apron and frying up our eggs and bacon and toasting the English muffins. I just love it.

I do keep a Pinterest board called Breakfast In Bed where I capture all of my fun breakfast inspiration. You know, for that time if and when I ever decide to grab the apron from Ian in the morning. Here are some of my must-makes!

Blueberry cream cheese monkey bread!

Pumpkin french toast bake! Thanksgiving morning...

Banana Bread Bars with Brown Butter Frosting

Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Lattes; I know I'll be glad I pinned this in the fall. Yay!!!!!!

Coconut crusted stuffed French toast.

Maybe it's time that I give one of these a whirl. If I had to choose one to start with, hmm.... this is a toughie! I'd probably go with the blueberry monkey bread.  I mean, does that look yummy with a cup of coffee or what?!

Which one of these would you want to make first?

PS: Five On Friday tomorrow -- hope you will join us!


Avocado Toast

Pin It!

Some mornings I am just in the mood for a savory breakfast.  I do love my sweets (just yesterday you heard me waxing poetic about this past Sunday's Frosted Flake coated French toast), but if I can sneak in a veggie or two to a breakfast, I love to do so.

On our girls trip to New York in March of 2012 (recap here), I first tasted avocado toast and was head over heels.  I recreated this the other morning and it was delicious -- and healthy to boot!

Avocado Toast
One slice bread (I used sourdough)
One half of an avocado
Fresh lemon juice
Red pepper flakes
Kosher salt

In a small bowl, mash together avocado with lemon juice to taste.  I left mine slightly chunky but you could mash into a finer texture if so desired.  Toast bread; top warm toast with avocado-lemon juice mixture.  Sprinkle generously with red pepper flakes and some kosher salt flakes.

If you want to get extra wild and crazy, I think a little sprinkle of feta would be over-the-top fantastic on this toast!  What do you think?

How do you incorporate veggies into your breakfasts?  I'd love to hear some of your go-to ideas.

Pin It!


A Charleston Wedding Weekend

Ohhh, what a marvelous wedding weekend we had in Charleston, SC!  If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting Charleston, you know firsthand how beautiful and charming it is.  We got into town Friday evening and got settled at our hotel, Charleston Place.  This was such a gorgeous place to stay and it was in walking distance of everything we wanted to do.

That evening we had reservations for a group of ten of us at Rue de Jean, but before our reservations we all grabbed a drink at Closed For Business.  Located on King Street, this little place (introduced to me by my brother in law) has become a favorite stop each time we are in the area.

Saturday was so much fun because I finally (finally!) got to meet and hang out with Megan from Fried Green Pickles!  We hit up the farmers market ... which is so much more than a typical farmers market.  It's huge and also has lots of other great vendors besides the typical produce/meat/flower stands -- paintings, photographs, baby gear, jewelry, candles, pet gear, you name it!  I got a bag of scuppernongs, Megan got some scuppernongs and boiled peanuts.  And if you have never had either, time for you to visit Charleston!  ;)

Ian golfed for the day with the guys in the wedding party, and that afternoon I shopped with Ian's friend's wife on King Street.  We made our way all the way down to Butcher & Bee which was totally worth the trek ... our sandwiches were delicious!  We had a great chat at the communal table with a mother and son who sat across from us. I love that type of seating arrangement for that very reason.

After Ian returned from golfing, he and I headed to the hotel pool and laid outside in the sun for a bit.  We refreshed for the evening and then headed to the Vendue Inn rooftop for a drink before our dinner reservations at Mercato. It was a great Italian restaurant with live jazz, and my gnocchi with short ribs was so tasty.

After dinner, the out of town guests all met up at Blind Tiger.  It had been a really long time since I'd been there -- maybe 2004 -- but it was just the same.  They have an awesome courtyard which was really nice.

Sunday morning, Ian and I got up bright and early and had breakfast at Sweetwater Cafe where I had crunchy French toast -- French toast coated in Frosted Flakes, ya'll!  Oh my goodness, delicious.  We then made the drive out to Sullivan's Island for a little beach time. We spent a few hours in the sun and then walked up to Poe's Tavern to wet our whistle before heading back to the hotel.  Lunch that day was at Pearlz, where we watched part of the Panthers game.

While Ian finished up watching the Panthers game, I headed back to King Street for a second dose of shopping.  Although I tried on some good possibilities, I walked away empty-handed! How crazy.

Kinda having regrets about this Shoshanna dress.  It was majorly on sale, too. And see that blue Lilly on the right? I was sick over the fact that it was too big.  I wanted it to work so badly!

This Amanda Uprichard dress was also one I should have considered a bit more.

Sunday evening was the big event ... the wedding!  Held at Boone Hall Plantation (which you may recognize from The Notebook, The Patriot, or Blake Lively & Ryan Reynold's wedding last summer), this wedding truly was a stunner.

Upon entering, they had lemonade and tea for everyone, as well as fans to keep cool and flip-flops for the ladies.

For the five-minute walk to the reception at the Cotton Dock, I slipped out of my heels and put on the much-appreciated flops!

We had such a marvelous time celebrating the newlyweds and cutting a rug out on the dance floor.  Before heading back home Monday, Ian and I stopped at Hominy Grill for breakfast, which was the perfect ending to the long weekend. See you soon, lovely Charleston!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...